Grape harvest starts in Calif. Wine Country | Miss. liquor stores report drinks shortages | Pernod Ricard continues to build US whiskey portfolio
August 7, 2020
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Industry Watch
Wine grape harvest has commenced in California's Napa and Sonoma counties with enhanced safety measures in place amid the pandemic. The 2020 crop is likely to be smaller than the area's average, which vintners say they welcome because of the effects of the pandemic on sales at restaurants and bars, on top of the fact that large grape crops over recent years led to an oversupply.
Full Story: North Bay Business Journal (Santa Rosa, Calif.) (8/7),  Napa Valley Register (Calif.) (8/6) 
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Liquor store proprietors in Mississippi say shipping delays from the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control agency are causing shortages. ABC has restricted orders to 100 cases daily, complicating efforts to restock shelves, according to Calistoga Wine and Spirits owner Sean Summers.
Full Story: WLOX-TV (Biloxi, Miss.) (8/7) 
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Pernod Ricard will continue to aggressively pursue its goal of establishing a strong foothold in the US whiskey market, said Daniel Clarke, vice-president of marketing, new brand ventures, adding that "[o]ur objective is to win with a portfolio of whiskeys." Last year, Pernod Ricard acquired whiskey-makers Firestone & Robertson Distilling, Rabbit Hole and Castle Brands.
Full Story: The Spirits Business (U.K.) (8/7) 
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Trends & Innovations
Millennials' desire for transparency in the products they buy has been met largely with indifference on the part of traditional winemakers, Erica Duecy writes. This has opened the door to the marketing of "clean wines" that position commercial winemaking as suspect, turning millennials off of such wines, she says, adding that the industry can combat this by making an effort to be more transparent through labeling and sharing its processes.
Full Story: VinePair (8/7) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
Plans by Ferrero to use a new logo and package for its Crunch brand candy was the most-clicked story by SmartBrief's food and beverage readers this week. Walmart's intention to cut corporate jobs as part of its omnichannel push and a tasty recipe for vegetarian carpaccio also landed among the Top 10.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (8/7) 
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Government & Regulatory Affairs
Over 30 Michigan distilleries have sent a joint letter to state lawmakers requesting additional financial support for pandemic-related hardships. In particular, distilleries would like their tax level to be made permanently equal to that of other liquor industries, said Jon O'Connor, president of the Michigan Craft Distillers Association.
Full Story: WPBN-TV/WTOM-TV (Traverse City, Mich.) (8/6) 
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France directs $94M in emergency aid to winemakers
(Fred Dufour/AFP via Getty Images)
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has pledged an additional $94 million in support to its wine industry, reeling from a steep decline in demand at bars and restaurants coupled with stunted exports amid US tariffs. This brings France's total assistance to its wine industry to almost $250 million since May.
Full Story: The Drinks Business online (U.K.) (8/6),  Reuters (8/5),  Food & Wine online (8/7) 
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Operations
Credibility is key for leaders who want to build a high-trust environment, but they must use that leverage to be transparent and honest, especially during a crisis, writes Stephen M.R. Covey. "The reality is that with trust as our currency, we can be far more agile, collaborative and innovative," he writes.
Full Story: Chief Executive online (8/5) 
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Spending less time with screens requires planning, a gradual transition and a new mindset, say experts. "You'll have a greater sense of control, just from being more conscious of your behavior," says Loretta Graziano Breuning.
Full Story: Everyday Health (7/31) 
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WSWA News
Members save on program for maintenance, repair and operations supplies with Grainger
WSWA and DSI offer wholesaler members 20%-84% off Grainger's catalog prices on over 250 commonly purchased items by beverage wholesalers and 10% off catalog prices across all category groups and products. Grainger offers WSWA wholesaler members a one-source solution for all MRO and industrial supplies. If interested, please contact Ali Comeaux, DSI General Manager at 303-277-3359 or via email. If you already have a Grainger account, she will assist in moving your account to the DSI program, and if you don't have a Grainger account number she will assist you in setting one up.
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virologist, medical researcher
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